Rick Hoffman’s Garage

Reading, Pa’s premier automotive repair facility, servicing the greater reading area for over 25 years. Located just outside of Reading, PA next to scenic Maple Grove Raceway.car brands list

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Contact Us

Rick Hoffman’s Garage
5349 Kachel Rd
Mohnton, Pa 19540
Tel 610-856-7844
Fax 610-856-1794


General Repairs
Oil and lube services
Brake replacement
Fuel Injection services
Tune ups
Factory scheduled maintenance
Suspension and Steering repairs
Tire replacement
Engine replacement / rebuild
Transmission replacement / rebuild

Advanced Diagnostics
European, Asian, and Domestic computer diagnosis.
Forced Induction diagnosis (turbocharger and supercharger applications)
Advanced oscilloscope diagnosis
Dyno diagnosis
Compression testing
Leakdown testing
Direct injection diagnosis ( GDI, ecoboost, DI )
Diesel diagnosis

Performance specialists
Turbocharger upgrades
Supercharger upgrades
Computer tuning/formatting
Suspension upgrades
Wheel and tire packages


Shared passion for cars turns into partnership

 Two Berks Career & Techonology Center student auto competitors now running garage together.


From left, Lew Davis (former instructor at Berks Career & Technology Center’s West Campus, Bern Township), Nicholas W. Orth, Bradley K. Hettinger and Rick Hoffman. Longtime friends Orth and Hettinger are the new owners of Rick Hoffman’s Garage in Brecknock Township.

SINCE THEY were young boys, friends Nicholas W. Orth and Bradley K. Hettinger had a passion for cars and what’s under the hood. Hettinger’s dad was a truck driver and diesel mechanic, so Hettinger and Orth would find themselves hanging around the shop helping with repairs when they were in their early teens. “We had our own four-wheelers we rode, and of course, we had to learn how to fix them when they didn’t work,” Hettinger said. The pair became friends when they were about 4 years old and attended Flying Hills Preschool, and their friendship continued throughout their school years and beyond. By the time they reached high school and started attending Berks Career & Technology Center, their hands-on repair experiences put them ahead of their classmates both in skills and knowledge. Now, more than 20 years since those preschool days, Orth, 27, and Hettinger, 28, are teaming up as the new owners of Rick Hoffman’s Garage, 5349 Kachel Road, Brecknock Township (near Maple Grove Raceway).

 “We were kicking around the idea about starting our own business for the past year or so, when Rick (Hoffman) said he wanted to retire and lease (to purchase) the business,” said Orth, who has worked for Hoffman for 10 years, starting when he graduated from Gov. Mifflin High School in 2005.
Hettinger jumped at the opportunity to work with his friend. “I knew Nick wanted to do this together,” he said. “If my best friend needs help, I am here.” In addition to the longevity of their friendship, Orth and Hettinger achieved some notable milestones together. In 2005, the two graduates of Gov. Mifflin and Berks Career & Technology Center’s West Campus in Bern Township competed and placed 13th in the 2005 Ford/AAA Student Auto Schools national finals held in Washington. The competition attracts the top student auto technicians from across the country.

 To compete at the national level, Orth and Hettinger placed first at the district and state levels. Hettinger also was the state champion for SkillsUSA in automotive service technology and was awarded a silver medal at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference. The duo prepared for months for the national competition under the direction of their BCTC instructor Lew Davis. At the time, assistant instructor Jeffrey Schmehl volunteered his Saturdays to work with the pair and Gary Manderbach, owner of Manderbach Ford in Muhlenberg Township, loaned practice vehicles for both the state and national competitions. “They performed well together in the classroom,” recalled Davis, who no longer teaches but now judges competitions. “Their performance at the competition was amazing. Although they went in different directions following graduation, they are back together now as a strong team.”

 As a result of the competition, they won full scholarships to continue their education and training at Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Chester County. Following completion of their courses, they went separate ways. Hettinger worked for A.W. Golden in Reading and then for Eisenhauer Nissan in South Heidelberg Township, where he became a master technician. From 2008 to 2012, he owned and operated a performance repair and fabrication garage and did some racing. Most recently, he was doing design engineering. “I am happy to get back to hands-on work,” Hettinger said. “I don’t like working at a desk all day. In the past few years, we built cars together on the side, so I know we work well together.”
After his certification at UTI, Orth continued working at Hoffman’s Garage. “I’ve had a lot of different employees over the years, but Nick’s been the best by far,” said Hoffman, who started in the business full time in 1986. “He’s very smart, a good mechanic and works well with customers.” Since Hoffman lives next door to the business, he often stops by to visit his former customers, though he knows they are in good hands, he said.
Both technicians regularly attend seminars and workshops to keep abreast of the latest technology and advances with all types of vehicles. They are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a nonprofit organization that tests individuals on their skills and expertise. The garage is certified as a NAPA Auto Care Center. 
The national competition and the months of preparation for it gave them invaluable skills, they said. “The competition taught us how to put forth our best efforts to do quality work — we had to do well, quickly and efficiently,” Orth said. “Yes, we learned high-pressure, problem-solving skills,” Hettinger added. “We had to think quickly on our feet.” With today’s advanced automotive technology, technicians need sharp diagnostic and analytical skills. “To work on cars well, you need all types of knowledge from computers to electrical to HVAC,” Hettinger said. “My sister is a physician’s assistant, and as she has to examine patients to diagnose illnesses, I have to examine and diagnose cars,” Orth added, noting that his decade of experience enables him to work on all types of vehicles. “I have been fortunate this is a well-established business before I took over,” Orth said. “Like Rick, I believe in treating customers like friends. I want to fix cars well, at a fair price and help people.”
The garage does all types of repairs, state inspections, oil changes, brakes, tune-ups, advanced diagnostics, transmissions and engine repairs, for all makes and models of vehicles, both foreign and domestic. They have three indoor bays and one outside bay for larger vehicles.
Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., by appointment. The official business name is BN Autoworks LLC d/b/a Rick Hoffman’s Garage.

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